7 Family-friendly scenic train trips

18 March 2022

Do something different with the family this spring and take them on a scenic train journey to discover new places and experiences.

Whether it's a grand day out with the grandkids, a dad and daughter day or spending time with your nephew, taking the train is a great way to connect with each other and get back to doing the things you love with the people you love.

Spend quality time window gazing from the train, take a packed lunch and enjoy the sights as you embark on a beautiful train journey across Britain.

Family waving at train on a day out

We've come up with some of our favourite scenic rail routes that are great for families. See below for details and for more suggestions of family fun take a look here.

Don't forget we feature more inspiration for days trips, short breaks and staycations on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels so be sure to follow us for daily travel inspiration.


West Highland Line

Glenfinnan Viaduct, Harry Potter bridge along the West Highland Line

Little witches and wizards across the world dream about taking the magical journey to Hogwarts – a trip along the impressive West Highland Line is about as close as you can get to the real thing. Grab a window seat (and don't forget your camera!) for a journey packed with epic landscapes, towering mountains and glistening lochs around every bend.


Cambrian Coast Lines

Cambrian Coast Lines, Wales on Rails

Spectacular views, coastal walks and majestic castles await as you travel across the border from Shrewsbury into Wales through rugged mountain terrain, World Heritage sites and charming market towns arriving along the picturesque West coast of Wales.


Derwent Valley Line

Cromwell Station along the Derwent Valley Line

Take a scenic trip through the historic landscape of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site with the friendly Perrie the Peregrine as your guide. With family friendly walking routes, fun activities and things to spot from your train, the Derwent Valley Family Activity Guide is your must-have companion for a fun-packed day out from Nottingham to Matlock. Don't forget to include a visit to the historic Mills and a trip up the hillside in a cable car to the Heights of Abraham is a must-do. Download the Family Activity Guide here.


Tyne Valley Line

Tyne Valley Line, Northern train, Scenic Rail Britain

For families interested in history, you'll love a trip along the historic Tyne Valley Line. There's so much heritage to learn about but the main feature is of course is the fascinating history and locations along the World Heritage Site of Hadrian's Wall. From Bardon Mill Railway Station you can take a circular walk to The Sill - National Landscape Discovery Centre and Vindolanda or catch the AD122 bus from Hexham and Haltwhistle stations that will deliver you to many more Hadrian's Wall attractions.


South Fylde Line

South Fylde Line, Northern train, rollercoaster, Scenic Rail Britain

Calling all adrenaline junkies! You'll love a trip along the South Fylde Line, providing easy access at the end of the route to the bright lights of Blackpool and the Pleasure Beach. The train journey itself is a lot more serene, travelling through Lancashire countryside, passing quaint seaside resorts such as St Annes and Lytham as you journey from Preston to Blackpool South.


Rhee Valley Line

Rhee Valley Shepreth Church, Scenic Rail Britain

This charming route is less than 15 minutes from Cambridge so is perfect to incorporate as part of a longer stay. Enjoy chocolate box villages with thatched cottages, medieval churches and traditional pubs along the route from Cambridge to Royston. Stop off at Shepreth and get closer to nature as you explore the Wildlife Park, next to the station, for an exciting family day out. From here you can also pick up the Churches trail for a self-guided tour of neighbouring villages steeped in history.


St Ives Bay Line

St IVes Bay Line, Scenic Rail Britain. Photo: Mark Lynam
Photo: Mark Lynam

Take to the beach by train! We can't promise the sunny weather but the journey from the charming Cornish village of St Erth to the beautiful town of St Ives is bound to take your breath away! Enjoy walking, paddling or sand-castle building at the family-friendly Porthminster Beach in St Ives or further along the line at Carbis Bay. This small stretch of railway is considered to be one of the most scenic in Britain. But don't take our word for it, get planning and see for yourself. For more ideas for days out in Devon and Cornwall by train visit the Great Scenic Railways website here.

Family on the train, Scenic Rail Britain
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